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  1. #1
    Senior Member Alanna Baxter's Avatar
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    Before you read this, get ready to cringe. I know the heat I'm going to get.

    The very first WP site I built was the summer of 2011. I set it up with GoDaddy. I was teaching myself and instead of creating child pages I simply went into the pages that needed changing and changed the code to create what I needed.

    For any newbies out there, let this be a lesson on what NOT to do. It's now a year later and here are the problems:

    Because I didn't use child pages, any WP updates will essentially wipe out all the work I did. WP has now listed 9 updates the site needs including the slider, backup plugin and all other plugins.

    I've been receiving emails with error logs basically saying that the site is not backing up. The file structure disappeared. The site is still there but the backups are not working. I don't know when, how or why. Neither does GoDaddy. In the beginning, the backup plugin was working. I'm guessing that because it needs updates something went screwy.

    So here's my question. Do I just rebuild the site and do it properly or is there a way to update the site without having to recode the whole thing again?

    Before you ask, yes, I've learned my lesson.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanna Baxter, post: 242352
    Before you read this, get ready to cringe. I know the heat I'm going to get.

    The very first WP site I built was the summer of 2011. I set it up with GoDaddy. I was teaching myself and instead of creating child pages I simply went into the pages that needed changing and changed the code to create what I needed.

    For any newbies out there, let this be a lesson on what NOT to do. It's now a year later and here are the problems:

    Because I didn't use child pages, any WP updates will essentially wipe out all the work I did. WP has now listed 9 updates the site needs including the slider, backup plugin and all other plugins.

    I've been receiving emails with error logs basically saying that the site is not backing up. The file structure disappeared. The site is still there but the backups are not working. I don't know when, how or why. Neither does GoDaddy. In the beginning, the backup plugin was working. I'm guessing that because it needs updates something went screwy.

    So here's my question. Do I just rebuild the site and do it properly or is there a way to update the site without having to recode the whole thing again?

    Before you ask, yes, I've learned my lesson.
    One of the first things I would do if I were in your shoes would be to go into the dashboard, go to "Tools" and export everything - then if you need to start again you should be able to import most of it into an updated or fresh install of WP.

    If by child pages, you actually mean child themes, which only affect some plugins and the styling of the site, you should be able at least to backup your database and use it to repopulate either an updated or fresh install of WP.

    If you mean you actually changed the PHP in the core files, rather than making new templates, you have a much bigger problem. Can you post a link to the site? I know I won't be able to see the actual PHP, but maybe I will be able to figure out a starting point for you from the output.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


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  4. #3
    Senior Member Alanna Baxter's Avatar
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    AlphaMare, yes, I did change the core PHP files! I wasn't thinking about the fact that I'd also be maintaining this site and that it would need to be updated from time to time. I have a domain name and hosting that I'm not really using yet so I was thinking of doing an export as you suggested, then rebuild it in a test area of my hosting. Afterwards, bring down the live site and replace it with the newly tested site? It sounds like a lot of work.

    Here's the link to the site: www.martindesignqw.com

    Thanks for checking it out for me.

  5. #4
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    Depends on how much you changed the core functionality of it.
    You should definitely update to the latest version of WordPress and its plugins.
    Will you lose major functionality if you update it?

  6. #5
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Alanna -
    There's one thing I can think of that may save you from having to start from scratch, quite similar to what you have explained above.
    Do you know how to create template pages? Make a copy of each one of your changed pages as a template page. Be sure to name them so you'll be able to apply them to the correct page later, and don't use the names they currently have, so there will be no confusion. Make a child theme with all the template pages

    Revert to the original theme, upload the child theme, and then for each page, in the dashboard, choose the template you've created for that page.

    If this works, then updates should not be a problem.

    You should maybe try this out with a dummy site first - I'm not 100% sure it will work as easily as it sounds.
    Alanna Baxter likes this.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  7. #6
    Senior Member Alanna Baxter's Avatar
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    Shovenose, Alphamare. Not sure to answer your questions. I'm in uncharted waters here. I won't know if I'll lose the functionality unless I dive in and update the plugins and WP itself. I'm afraid if I do that, it will completely screw up the site and I'll end up redoing it anyway. I'd like to have as little down time as possible. Luckily, I have a backup of the site on my laptop.

    I'm not sure how to save a page as a template page but I'll do some research and see if I can find out how to do that. The pictures are in a table and that process isn't used anymore so perhaps now is the time to make it right. Maybe I can save the backup pages as template pages?

    So I think the safest thing to do is to recreate the site in a test area and then FTP it back up after bringing down the old site. Luckily, there are only a few pages here--around 6 if I recall so it shouldn't be that bad--hopefully! The quilt site I'm working on has been done with child pages so at least I've learned my lesson!

    Will this affect the SEO or ranking of the site if I remove it and upload it again?

    Thanks for the advice!

  8. #7
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Making a new template is dead easy. All you have to do is add a few lines of code at the top of the page.
    In your case you have the files already made (edited). So if you make templates from them and put the templates in a child theme, you can update the main theme and still keep the page layouts you've edited.
    At the top of the file, put the following:

    Code:
    <?php
    
    /*
    
    Template Name:  Page Name
    
    */>?
    Name each template page for what it is - for example , Template Name : bookcase , etc.
    You can make as many templates as you like. When you load the child theme, they should appear in the template dropdown list in your dashboard when you create or edit a page.
    Alanna Baxter likes this.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Alanna Baxter's Avatar
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    Thank you, Alphamare! It does look and sound easy! I'll let you know how I get on!!

  10. #9
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanna Baxter, post: 242434
    Thank you, Alphamare! It does look and sound easy! I'll let you know how I get on!!
    Well, easy can catch you out - make as complete a backup as you can before you start - but do let me know how it goes - the only other thing I can think of would be to recreate the site...
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  11. #10
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    How's it going? Any luck?
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!


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